I teach people how to develop a regular mindfulness practice and integrate it into their daily lives. And I teach and mentor photographers and writers who want to deepen their creative work and use creativity to explore their personal narratives.
Because mindful photography and mindful writing practices have been so instrumental in my own journey, for those who are interested, I teach these practices as well to support the journey toward healing and creative awakening.
I’ve been teaching mindfulness meditation and offering counseling for 30+ years, and I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was 7 years old.
My work is a blend of:
- mindfulness counseling and coaching
- meditation and yoga
- writing and photography–as creative craft and/or tools for healing
- Energy psychology (EFT, TWR/WHEE and Reiki)
My work is grounded in neuroscience research regarding the neuroplasticity of the brain and how we can rewire the brain for greater peace and happiness. I have studied brain science since the early 1980s while working in a neurotoxicology lab at the EPA and again while working with clients with brain injury at Shepherd Center rehabilitation hospital in the mid 1990s.
Only by listening inwardly in a fresh and open way will you discern at any given time what most serves your healing and freedom.—Tara Brach
On the Personal Side:
- writing and making photographs
- brewing my own kombucha
- cultivating a native plant garden
- being in nature with my little dog Eos
- volunteering as a bird steward for North Carolina Audubon & creek watcher for Cape Fear Riverwatch
- serving on the local city/county Community Relations Advisory Committee
If you want to know more about why I do what I do, here’s my full story….
Education and Training
B. A. Psychology, Meredith College 1986
M.S. Counseling, Georgia State University 1991
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling (Illness & Injury), Georgia State University 1996
M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts (Creative Writing, Photography, Art and Healing) 2007
Licensed Professional Counselor in NC (LPC)
Licensed Professional Counselor in GA (LPC)
Certified Wellness & Health Coach (CWHC)
Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT-200)
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Life Coach Training at Institute for Life Coach Training
Writing Coaching Training
Creativity Coaching Training
Health & Wellness Coach Training
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Yoga Teacher Training at Asheville Yoga Center with Stephanie Keach
Reiki I, Reiki II and Reiki Master training
Ecosattva training and online sangha leader with One Earth Sangha
Path of Freedom prison mindfulness program training with Fleet Maull
Advanced training in Mindfulness & Psychotherapy
Training in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University with Rita Charon, MD
Advanced training in Therapeutic Writing, Journal Therapy & Poetry Therapy
Advanced training in PhotoTherapy and therapeutic photography
Advanced study and training in Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers
Training in Yoga for Depression & Anxiety
Advanced study in Insight meditation
Buddhist study and practice program through Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
Advanced study of Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy
The Inner Life of the Child in Nature program through The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens. –Carl Jung
Previous Work Experience
Contract counselor/consultant for Veteran’s Administration in Georgia
Contract Vocational Evaluator Georgia Division of Rehabilitation Services
Acquired Brain Injury Vocational Rehabilitation Program Manager, Shepherd Center. Atlanta, GA.
Director of Helpline, Volunteer Services and Speaker’s Bureau, Georgia Council on Child Abuse. Atlanta, GA.
Intake Counselor, Brawner Psychiatric Institue. Atlanta, GA.
Therapeutic Recreation Program Manager, Raleigh Vocational Center, Raleigh, NC.
Research Assistant, Neurotoxicology Lab, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC.
“Healing Bodies & Souls through Writing and Photography” PainPathways Magazine Fall 2016.
Learning to See Invisible Wounds of War op-ed. StarNews November 11, 2015.
“Meeting Pain with Mindfulness” PainPathways Magazine. Summer 2014 print edition.
“After the Diagnosis: Coping with Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity.” Guest Author, CeliacCorner Blog. 2013.
“Finding Joy After Loss.” Psychology Today Blog Guest post for Eric Maisel’s Rethinking Psychology blog. April 2, 2013.
“10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Stress.” mindbodygreen.com September 14, 2012.
“5 Things You Can Do to Live a Mindful Life.” JenningsWire: The World of Success. October 24, 2012.
“Are You Balanced? Here Are the 7 Kinds of Wellness You Need.” mindbodygreen.com November 12, 2012.
“How to Commit to Your Creativity“ Republished by Creativity for Life. October 2012 (no longer in publication on this site). Originally published on Jen’s blog in 2011.
“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Improve your sense of wellbeing” Naturally ILM. April 2012.
“How to Meditate Part I –Awareness of Breath Meditation.” JenningsWire: The World of Success. November 6, 2012.
“How to Meditate Part II — Mindfulness of the Body.” JenningsWire: The World of Success. December 5, 2012.
“How to Meditate Part III: Mindfulness of Feelings.” JenningsWire: The World of Success. April 18, 2013.
Feature: ” The Value of a Vacation” New Life Journal. June 2009.
“The Wreck,” “After The Wreck,” and “Plastic Surgery Phase II” poems transposed onto photographs. The-Healing-Muse: A Journal of Literary and Visual Arts.October 2008, Volume 8.
Feature: “The Healing Power of Writing From Life” New Life Journal. July 2008.
“A Sister’s Call.” Writing published in conjunction with photography exhibit by Rebecca Schaper. Emory University Law Library, Atlanta, GA. 2006.
“Acquired Brain Injury Vocational Rehabilitation Manual.” Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA. 1998.
“An Overview of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.” University of Florida/Intellicus Life Care Plan Training Program. Module 3- Multiple Disabilities section, pp. 55-70. 1997.
Chapter “Vocational Rehabilitation with Persons With Acquired Brain Injury” in Shepherd Center’s Acquired Brain Injury Program Family Training Manual. 1996.
Authored “Child Abuse Prevention and Survivor’s Helpline Training Manual.” Georgia Council on Child Abuse. 1994.
Jen’s work has been featured in
Coastline: A New Year, A New You? WHQR’s Coastline talk radio show.
WECT-TV “First at Four” How Mindfulness Can Help You Reduce Stress & Feel Happier
WECT-TV “First at Four” Tips on How to De-Stress
Online gallery of Invisible Wounds of War exhibit UNCW Randall Library
Beneath the surface Wilma Magazine November 2015.
Jen Johnson’s remarks at the Invisible Wounds of War exhibit opening reception video courtesy of UNCW
WHQR Interview WHQR Radio Midday Interview with Gina Gambony August 2015
WHQR Interview WHQR Radio Midday Interview with Gina Gambony October 2015
Wilma Magazine. December 2013. “Slowing Down: Eating Mindfully During the Holidays. ”
Wrightsville Beach Magazine. January 2014. “Live Well.”
Mars Hill College: Expository Essay; Documented Essay
A-B Technical Community College: Expository Writing
Antioch University McGregor: Journaling for Transformation
UNC-Asheville College for Seniors: Writing From Life; Witness Narratives: Stories of Survival
UNC-Wilmington Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: Meditation for Stress Reduction
Private Classes & Workshops: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; Mindfulness & Writing for Healing; Narrative Witnessing: Stories of Survival; The Heart of Self-Compassion; Awakening the Heart to Joy; Creating Clear Intentions.
Teaching Artist Residency
Wells College, Aurora, NY. March 7 -11, 2016. Teacher and artist in residence. Taught interdisciplinary courses on mindfulness, photography and writing to Creative Writing, Theatre and Dance, Psychology, Human Services and Pre-Health students. Provided mindfulness workshops to the campus and local community.
2015 and 2017 recipient of The North Carolina Humanities Counci’s “Standing Together Grant” to support Invisible Wounds of War project.
2016-2017 recipient of The Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County’s “Regional Artist Project Grant” to support Ghost Trees photography exhibition.
Georgia State University
Shepherd Pain Clinic
Atlanta Medical Clinic
Select Photography Exhibitions
2017 Ghost Trees. Expo216, Wilmington, NC
2017 Invisible Wounds of War. The Arts Council of Wilmington Gallery, Wilmington, NC
2017 State of the Art Art of the State. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
2016 Ghost Trees. Into the Deep online show.
2015 Invisible Wounds of War. UNCW Randall Library, Wilmington, NC
2011 1×1 = ONE Haustudio, Ivanhoe, NC
2008 Asheville Then & Now. YMI Cultural Center, Asheville, NC
2007 Crossing Over: Looking from There to Here, Looking from Here to There. The Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2006 Whimsical Dreams of August. Avenue Art Gallery, Endicott, NY
2006 A Sister’s Call. Writing published with photography exhibit by Rebecca Shaper. Emory University
Law Library. Atlanta, GA
2005 ten. The Seen Gallery. Atlanta, GA
2003 Photographer’s Choice. Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA